Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sunday July 8

How long can this beautiful weather last???  We are definitely enjoying the serene world out on the ocean as the seas continued to remain calm and temperatures were just about perfect today.  This morning's trip started out inshore of Jeffreys Ledge when we saw a bunch of splashing.  It was a pod of Atlantic white-sided dolphins!
Atlantic white-sided dolphins creating quite the white water!
Just beyond the dolphins we also watched a Minke whale lunging through the water multiple times!  The dolphins were on the move but almost always continued to remain just behind where our Minke whale was surfacing.  What a great way to start the day.
White-sided dolphin
Once on Jeffreys Ledge the whales continued to showcase their splendor.  We came into an area where we had 2 pairs of whales.  Two Fin whales were moving through the water together and nearby we had two Humpback whales doing the same!  The Fin whales split apart soon after we eased our way into the area and soon realized one of the Fin whale pair was good old Ladder.  Ladder and its Fin whale "friends," always in close proximity to one of its kind!  Eventually  we ventured over towards the Humpback whale pair.
Two species snapshot: Ladder the Fin whale in the background while Halfmoon the Humpback whale surfaces for a breath of air!
Today we saw Halfmoon associated with another adult whale, Doric!  We sighted Doric on Jeffreys Ledge a couple of years ago but today was the first time this whale made its presence known for the 2012 season.  Great to see you again Doric!
Halfmoon's tail and Doric taking a breath
Before heading for home we also got the chance to see a few more Fin whales, including Dingle, and one other Humpback whale. 
Dingle the Fin whale
Dyad the Humpback whale
Dyad the Humpback was still meandering around the Ledge and got some very nice looks before turning for home.  However, before too long we spotted more splashing.  With a very quick look (we were running late to begin with!) we got the chance to spend a couple minutes with another group of Atlantic white-sided dolphins.  Nothing like starting the day with a group of 40 dolphins to ending the trip with a group of ~50!

This afternoon we were back on the flat-calm seas in search of more whale activity.  We ended up getting the chance to see, and spend time with, 4 Humpback whales this afternoon as almost all of them were creating bubble clouds.  Looks like we came into the area when it was time for the whales to get some afternoon food.  We first started with Dyad and got some wonderful looks at this whale before seeing another species just out in the distance. 
We also got the chance to see one of the second largest animals on the planet for a couple of surfacings all the while having Dyad just out in the distance continuing to surface every couple of minutes.  This Fin whale gave us a great look at its massive size before we were off again to check out some of the other spouts we were seeing just a bit away.

Fin whale surfacing
Deeper dive for our Fin whale
Our next stop was a pair of Humpback whales.  Pinball and her calf were spending the afternoon near all the other whale activity and so we got the chance to spend time with Mom and her "little" calf. 
Pinball and her calf' (dorsal fin above the surface) just next to her
A calf is not so "little" when we twice watched this pair surface and turn right in towards the boat!  Pinball and her calf swam right under the boat before returning back up on the other side but leaving all of us in awe at just how incredibly majestic these mammals can be.  Oh, and have no fear as always we have our engines shut off ANY time a whale decides to move in towards the direction of us!
The "Big-winged New Englander" (aka. Pinball) swimming right in toward us
Pinball diving next to the boat
The water was so calm we even saw a disturbance on the water of a lone fish while out with all the whales.
Small fish probably attempting to avoid any large whale mouth in the area!
It was so clam this critter was creating its own ripples on the water!
The day ended with one last Humpback whale.  Doric was swimming along on its own, having separated from Halfmoon at some point this afternoon for whatever reason known only to them.  This whale was just circling around and gave us all some great last looks before heading back to Rye Harbor.
We continue to have first-time whale watchers and experienced whale spotters each and every day so wherever you fit into the spectrum feel free to come join us anytime and see what we may experience in the future out on Jeffreys Ledge!

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